September 30th, 2014

Accelerated WebMail by LuxSci

LuxSci’s WebMail User Interface is extremely feature rich.  However, perhaps the number one suggestion from customers is to make it faster, especially when large email folders are involved.

After many months of development, LuxSci has completed work on “Accelerated WebMail“.

Accelerated WebMail

  1. Makes WebMail as fast as a regular IMAP email program. (eg. Outlook, Thunderbird,
  2. Folders that you have accessed recently are extremely quick to search.
  3. Folders that you access for the first time in a while are slower at first (though faster than the old WebMail access speed) and then get accelerated to lightning speed within seconds or minutes, depending on how large they are.
  4. The larger your folder is, the larger the speed up is.
  5. Searching and Sorting Accelerated Folders is now insanely fast.
  6. The conversation “threading” algorithm used for sorting folders by “Thread” has been updated to a more advanced and more useful method.
  7. Prepare for the addition of multi-folder search (coming early Q1 2015).

To Use Accelerated WebMail

Right now, Accelerated WebMail is in “Live“.  You can try it out by logging into the LuxSci Regular WebMail

Folder access is Accelerated automatically for all users … you do not have to do anything except use WebMail.  Once you access a folder, the acceleration process will start and the folder will be indexed.  This usually takes seconds to a few minutes, depending on just how large that folder is and how busy your email server is.  Once accelerated, the folder stays accelerated and fast unless you do not use it for a long time (e.g. a week for normal folders, or several weeks for your INBOX).

It is possible to disable Acceleration for an individual folder, an individual user, or an entire account, should the need arise.  In this case, WebMail falls back automatically to a speed similar to, but slightly faster than the its old self.

Is Anything Different other than the Speed?

Other than just being plain fast and using less bandwidth, Accelerated WebMail works the same as WebMail always has.

This fall, we will be re-designing the WebMail User Interface to make it even faster (taking advantage of some features of Accelerated WebMail that the current interface cannot yet use), simpler, and more modern.

However, there are two functional differences when Accelerated WebMail is used; they both involve searching and arise from the fact that Accelerated WebMail makes a “search index” of content of your email messages to enable extremely fast searching.  Regular WebMail does an “IMAP Search,” which needs to open and parse each message in turn when performing a search — obviously very slow, especially with large messages.  This functional difference results in:

  1. Maximum Searched Attachment Size.  Accelerated WebMail only indexes text attachments up to 10 MB in size.  So, if you want to search for the word “Sandwich”  … you will find it just fine unless it us buried in some gargantuan text attachment (e.g. some huge data file) or some other kind of non-text attachment that is not searched in any case by either Accelerated or non-Accelerated WebMail (e.g. a PDF).  While 10MB is really large for a text attachment, this maximum indexed text attachment size can be increased or lifted for customers with dedicated servers.
  2. Keyword Search. Searching an Accelerated folder is a keyword search, whereas searching is otherwise a phrase search.  So, searching an Accelerated folder for “Ham Sandwich” will find all messages containing both “Ham” and “Sandwich” … located anywhere in the message.  This is as opposed to the non-Accelerated search which will only match the exact phrase “Ham Sandwich” somewhere in the message.

If either of these differences is a problem, you can disable Acceleration on your folder temporarily or permanently in the “Folder Properties > Accelerated WebMail” page for that email folder.

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